Symphony no. 2 by Daniil Kharms.
Anton Mikhailovich spat, said “yuck”, spat again, said “yuck” again, spat again, said “yuck” again and left. To Hell with him. Instead, let me tell about Ilya Pavlovich.
Ilya Pavlovich was born in 1893 in Constantinople. When he was still a boy, they moved to St. Petersburg, and there he graduated from the German School on Kirchnaya Street. Then he worked in some shop; then he did something else; and when the Revolution began, he emigrated. Well, to Hell with him. Instead, let me tell about Anna Ignatievna.
But it is not so easy to tell about Anna Ignatievna. Firstly, I know almost nothing about her, and secondly, I have just fallen of my chair, and have forgotten what I was about to say. So let me instead tell about myself.
I am tall, fairly intelligent; I dress prudently and tastefully; I don’t drink, I don’t bet on horses, but I like ladies. And ladies don’t mind me. They like when I go out with them. Serafima Izmaylovna have invited me home several times, and Zinaida Yakovlevna also said that she was always glad to see me. But I was involved in a funny incident with Marina Petrovna, which I would like to tell about. A quite ordinary thing, but rather amusing. Because of me, Marina Petrovna lost all her hair – got bald like a baby’s bottom. It happened like this: Once I went over to visit Marina Petrovna, and bang! she lost all her hair. And that was that.
Daniil Kharms (1905-42) mainly made a living writing children’s books in Leningrad. He also wrote poems and absurd short stories, often published in underground magazines, after the avant-garde literary societies that Kharms was associated with were banned by the Stalin regime.
In 1931 Kharms was convicted of anti-Soviet activity and spent a year in prison and exile in Kursk. In 1937 his children’s books were confiscated by the authorities, and deprived of his main source of income Kharms was often on the brink of starvation in the following years. He continued to write short, grotesque stories, which weren’t published, but merely stored in Kharms’ desk drawer.
In August 1941, shortly before the terrible siege of Leningrad, Kharms was arrested a second time, accused of “spreading defeatist propaganda”. During the trial Kharms was declared non compos mentis and was incarcerated in a military prison. In February 1942, while Leningrad was ravaged by famine, Kharms starved to death in prison.
Blue notebook no. 2
Once there was a redheaded man without eyes and without ears. He had no hair either, so that he was a redhead was just something they said.
He could not speak, for he had no mouth. He had no nose either.
He didn’t even have arms or legs. He had no stomach either, and he had no back, and he had no spine, and no intestines of any kind. He didn’t have anything at all. So it is hard to understand whom we are really talking about.
So it is probably best not to talk about him any more.
Love this story. It links very well with my Image of Sergie Pankejeff shopping for a new nose. This man would possibly shop at the same store. See also OBERIU a short lived avant garde literary society of Russian futurist writers kharms and AlexanderVvedensky and Theatre of the Absurd
Theatre of the Absurd follows the concepts of existential philosophy. The theatrical style aims to show a world where man is born with only himself and nothing else (no God), and must earn his place in themetaphysical world. Often Absurdist works utilise theatrical conventions such as – but not limited to – Mime, Gibberish, Heightened Language, Codified Language and Vignette. The pieces generally lack conflict, and involve high levels of contrast, alienation, and irony, for example, a funeral scene performed by actors happily, or a birthday scene performed somberly.